Racism is prejudice based on race backed by the full weight and power of the institution, law, society behind it. Yes prejudice hurts, but without the full power of the institution it is prejudice, not racism. Prejudice hurts, it may even traumatize. It's ill mannered at the least. I'm not downplaying that. However, I am saying, in this discussion of race, calling a white person a cracker is not racism. When Trayvon uses it to describe the killer stalking him as a weirdo cracker, he is not being racist.
Racism is a line of division. On one side is the "racist list." All kinds of people can uphold racism with a spectrum of behaviors from blatant thought. words, and actions like the KKK, Aryan Nation all the way to supporting with silence, or apathy or cowardice. The list supporting racism even includes people of color shoring up racist institutions and action by being gatekeepers, laughing along with a racist jokes against them, cutting down someone who is speaking against racism by a stamp of approval for the racist side. These are people of color being pro-racist. You can be on that side of the line of racism by being a Supreme Court Justice white or black who gutted the voting rights act, defending this racist murder by putting parents on trial and the victim on trial for calling this vigilante stalking him a white cracker, etc etc.
On the other side of the line is the "anti-racist list" ALSO the full spectrum of humanity. This is a list of people who are committed in thought word and action to obliterate racism by standing up against it, acting against it and educating oneself to understand that racist line better. Of course, people of color as a state of survival and health have to stand up to it. It's a powerful stand to take rather than alienation, fear, self hatred. Who wants to be Clarence Thomas or S.I. Hayakawa? Remember him? Japanese American Pres of SF during the Student Movements who was an apologist for the concentration camps during WW2 who put his parents behind barbed wire (It wasn't bad. It was fun to be a kid there) and disrespected the students of color he was supposed to care about by bringing in armed and ready for combat police force to stop the demonstration which were being supported by clergy and NAACP and other organizations. So the list on the anti-racist side, for example, on this thread, John is reading the heck out of literature which has to do with that relationship of all kinds of people including white people to racism, thinking and then educating. I'm taking his reading list down. Would you join me, those of you who are taking names like cracker so personally in the context of this murder trial, taking comments made about Christianity personally, in this context?